When it comes to technology, infrastructures, medical science, and weapons, we are way more advanced and wealthier than ever. However, when it comes to social engagement, it seems to be declining at an alarming rate. I believe there are many factors to it such as digital media influence, peer pressure, and many more. When people are looking on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, all they are looking at is that "OMG s/he got that many likes" or "s/he got that many followers" or "he got engaged/married" or "OMG look at her figure" or look at this and that. There's more to the list. Such things are destroying us mentally and eventually physically, too. I used to blame digital media for the promotion of object-centered content, but I was partially correct.

The weakening of community engagement did not simply occur overnight. A multitude of participating forces has given rise to our current state. For instance, families are spending less time together today than in previous generations. You may hear people saying I have got to catch up with my family in the winter break. However, does it work like that? No! If you do not water a plant in your home for a week, it will start dying, or it has to suffer from thirst and hunger. In our life, when the pressure to achieve at a high academic/profession level in competition with peers takes priority, another area of socialization is lost.

I also consider misguided priorities one of the leading factors of social disengagement and negative consumption on a daily basis. In most cases, money and status (includes digital media) are progressively prioritized, sometimes at the cost of the quality of our relationships. We were raised in a culture that tells us that the more money we make, the more things we gain, the fancier job we have, the happier we will be. However, the seeds of happiness do not rely upon either of those. Presently, one of the most significant causes of social isolation and disengagement is technology. The internet offers an excellent alternative to stay connected with their family and friend reside in another part of the world. However, we rely upon it all the time and act like a puppet. Though we all understand all the consequences of overuse of technology, we do not bother to do anything about it.

There's a fine line between loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness is a subjective feeling of discomfort, occurring when social connections are seen to be inadequate. On the other hand, social isolation is the inadequacy of meaningful social relationships. People often misunderstood and eventually can't figure out what to do to resolve. Numerous research has claimed that due to social isolation and overexposure we now can have more pain consumption in one day because of what we were exposed to then the pain we would have had in a lifetime. As ancient proverb said, "if we can take control of our ego, anger, envy, jealousy, obsession, and a false attraction, we can alleviate the biggest anxieties and depressions of any time among mental health problems."

Personally speaking, one of the best ways to engage in your community either at home or college is to join a volunteer group. You get to meet new people of your age, maybe someone who has similar hobbies as you or someone is majoring in the same subject. You can still be connected with digital media and modern technology while serving in your community (but please don't text too much. I can guarantee you that you will be happier than you have ever before. All human beings desire to thrive, as do societies. As a reference, I would recommend you to check out RUPA's website for upcoming activities on campus at Rutgers. See you next week.